De-escalation of Sino-Indian tension is in the interest of the entire world

The prospect of a clash between China and India ought to be treated very cautiously (A Sino-Indian clash could end the Asian century; Aug 11).

China needs to recognise the fact that it is dealing with a much stronger Indian government and, hence, would be ill-advised to take things for granted.

Instead, it should undertake steps to de-escalate.

In a world where there are a multitude of issues - the problems brewing in the Korean peninsula involving multiple countries, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, to name just two - another conflict is not something anyone wants.

In the latest case of Sino-Indian tension, Bhutan had felt that the construction undertaken by the Chinese was being done in its territory.

Since Bhutan does not have diplomatic relations with China, it called on its trusted neighbour India for help.

China, which has territorial issues with many countries, including issues in the South China Sea, should realise that might is not always right.

Recently, Japan's Defence White Paper was brought to question by China.

It also lodged a protest against Indonesia renaming part of the maritime economic zone.

What is curious is, whenever China is involved in a territorial dispute with any country, it always claims to be in its "own territory".

Why is it that one single country is having territorial disputes with so many countries concurrently?

For now, India is unlikely to back down on its own.

It would be in the interest of the entire world that both countries, through diplomatic channels, de-escalate and let peace remain intact.

Somasundaram Seveganchetty

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2017, with the headline 'De-escalation of Sino-Indian tension is in the interest of the entire world'. Print Edition | Subscribe